Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Life Cycle of Pots

I am, for a change, cooking for yom tov again, and it's either due to the smell of onions or some other environmental factor, but I spent a moment pondering just how many times in one week certain pots and mixing bowls are going to have been used for Pesach.  And that led me to wonder just how many uses any individual pot or bowl can have before they begin to wear down and wear out.

I have one pot, purchased by my aunt in 1946, that has been used for every Pesach since then.  I'm finally having to give in and admit that while the outside still is perfectly fine, the inside has worn away in too many places to be a really good cooking pot any more. Why is it still in my house and being used?  Pure sentimentality.  When that pot comes out of storage it shouts "Pesach is here!" 

Am I getting rid of it this year?  Nope.  I finally figured out how to justify finding storage space for it.  It will work fine for boiling eggs in their shells, and heaven only knows enough of those are cooked for Pesach to justify keeping it.

Besides, you should have seen the smile on my mom's face when the pot appeared.  And yes, that pot triggered some great conversations between us about how things were when my family first arrived in the US, and about how different things are now then they were then.

Go figure--a pot as a sentimental journey starter.

Have a gutten yom tov all.


Anonymous said...

Just curious - what type of a pot wears out? I have only had the coated non-stick pots got worn, but I stopped buying those long ago. As for a 1946 pot, I don't think they even had coated cookware then, except for enamel coatings. I have non-coated pots and pans from my grandparents that are as old as your 1946 pot and they look brand new.

ProfK said...


The pot I mentioned is one of those white enamel pots with the red enamel rim. The outside is lovely, but at some point something stuck to or burned in spots on the bottom. To clean this required steel wool and Comet. Both the burning and the steel wool can cause enamel to be worn down, as can scraping the bottom of the pot with a spoon as things are cooking. There are a few spots where the black steel the enamel was coated on is showing through. Anything not self contained, such as eggs in the shell, will stick to those spots unless you constantly stir througout the cooking time of something.